Sunday, July 27, 2014

ChocoNut Stout Redux & Cali Transfer

Good Afternoon Ladies & Gentlemen,
Wednesday night, I watched another of the ESPN 30 for 30 series called “Battered Bastards of Baseball” which is about the short-lived independent baseball team The Portland Mavericks in the 1970’s. Now, stay with me… because this is going to sound like a horrible movie idea, but it really happened. Bing Russell (actor & father of movie icon Kurt Russell) was a batboy for the New York Yankees back in the heyday… and later he played a little ball… and then he went on to become a very respectable actor in Hollywood Westerns & starred as the sheriff on “Bonanza” for its full 13-year run… but baseball was always his love. He made instructional videos starring his young son Kurt& just had a burning passion for the sport. Well, after retiring, he wanted to start a minor league team… only he didn’t want to play by Major League Baseball’s rules because… frankly they were a monopoly & he didn’t need all that mess. The MLB’s AAA team had just moved out of Portland, Oregon… so Bing came in & started his own independent single A team, the Portland Mavericks. Since everything was funded by him… and he didn’t have the support of MLB, he basically just had open tryouts posted in the Sporting News… and people came from across the country to try out for a professional team… and what happened was a motley crew of 70’s stereotypes even better than you can imagine. During their short run, they also had the first female general manager for ANY sport, first Asian-American manager for ANY American sport… and really brought baseball & a sense of entertainment to the sport back to Portland… but the real question was, would they be any good? Well… yeah… but if you’re any kind of a fan of baseball, sports movies, or even just stories about crazy cats making the most of what they can & achieving their dreams… then by all means check this movie out. I absolutely loved it… and am honestly waiting for the sports comedy to be made about it with Kurt Russell playing his dad forty years ago. I’d watch that too.
Thursday night, Izzy & I went to the 2nd annual installment of “Hops & History” which was an Unlimited Beer tasting at The Old Mint Building here in downtown San Francisco. At this event, they had special guests speakers from many of the big name local breweries such as Anchor, 21st Amendment, Magnolia, etc. We got to meet Jim Stitts & Dave Burkhart with Anchor, who are iconic in the realm of craft beer labeling… and with Izzy as an art geek & me doodling in similar things, it was great to hear how they made some of the most popular labels in the world. Great guys too! There was also some great memorabilia from San Francisco’s beer brewing past, artwork up in the galleries… and of course free beer swag like coasters, pins, stickers & all the finest ales & lagers that you could drink on tap for your commemorative souvenir four-ounce mug. This is a fund raiser to help turn the Old Mint Building into a history museum specifically about the city of San Francisco someday… but in the meantime, it’s a great venue for a few hundred beer nerds to show up & try some great beer. If you want to try this next year, book tickets early & bring a designated driver. Here are some pictures…

Saturday morning, we started up our 2nd batch of ChocoNut Stout. Why? Well, first off, the mark of a great brewer is consistently executing a superior product (great beer)… so we wanted to make sure it wasn’t just blind luck that we made such a fabulous beer the first time & rest on our laurels. Secondly, well… it was just so damn good the first time when we kegged it that we wanted to make another batch even though this round will eventually be bottled (kegs will be spoken for soon enough). Third & most importantly, we wanted to make more to enter into a few competitions & share with others. Also, we had some leftover ingredients to use (coconut extract & cocoa powder) so that saves a few bucks there… which is always nice when you can’t sell your beer. We also transferred our Cali Common... here are some pictures...

Saturday night, after pregaming at Jamber (try their buffalo-cheddar chickpea nachos, no joke) we met up with Jackie D & Bubbles to go to a “30th Anniversary of Purple Rain” celebration featuring The Purple Ones (Prince Tribute Band). It worked out perfectly as Bubbles’ birthday was earlier in the week… and she LOVES Purple Rain… so yeah, that was my present to her. The concert was at Slim's (a nice intimate venue) and the opening acts were Phone Sex Operators (pretty damn good in my opinion), the Goldenhearts (seemed a li'l out of place) & then the Purple Ones... who rocked the house Prince-style... hella good time!!!

Anyway, that's a quick summary of the weekend... but more awesome stuff coming next week too. Have a great weekend everybody!!!

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